Speaker to discuss math behind common situations

Rick GillmanA distinguished speaker from the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) will discuss the complex mathematics behind several everyday situations at a Trine University presentation on Nov. 18.

Rick Gillman, Ph.D., retired senior research professor and past associate provost at Valparaiso University, will discuss “Everyday Questions; Not-so-everyday math” beginning at 4 p.m. in Best Hall 229. A reception will follow.

The event, hosted by the Trine University Math Club, is free and open to the public.

The talk explores three undergraduate research projects that arose out of asking mathematical questions about problems the average person might encounter. While the problems are simple — constructing a wooden arch, forming small groups in the classroom and walking home from school — the mathematics is interesting, accessible but challenging, and full of learning opportunities.

Gillman has taught at Valparaiso since the 1980s, when he was hired as an assistant professor. His positive influence on the mathematics community quickly extended beyond the university to the regional, state and national levels. In the 1990s, he worked on projects aimed at constituencies such as high school students, high school teachers, underrepresented minorities in the mathematical sciences, and women in mathematics, ranging from external workshops and minicamps to new internal general education courses on conceptual calculus and game theory.

By the new millennium, Gillman had made a name for himself as an expert in quantitative literacy. He shared his knowledge of the subject through presentations, organizing numerous contributed paper sessions and conducting mini-courses on “A Game Theory Path to Quantitative Literacy.”

The MAA honored Gillman with its Meritorious Service Award in 2019.

Last Updated: 11/05/2021